When I meet business owners to talk about growing their business, they raise similar questions: What marketing tactics should I use? What actions will get me a quicker return on investment? Many are bewildered at the amount of work they think they need to do to gain more customers. There is a feeling that businesses which are doing well, must be doing all sorts of marketing tactics or, in fact, doing them all! On top of this, business owners often have no idea where to start and if, what they do, will make any difference at all.
My doo’s for these questions are around getting clarity first. Take a step back and look at the current situation before embarking into the unknown. By the end of our Marketing Takeaway sessions I’ve alleviated all these concerns by explaining the following points.
Understanding the difference between marketing tactics and marketing actions
Before we delve into putting your mind at ease, let me explain how marketing tactics differ from marketing actions.
Marketing tactics are the areas you need to concentrate on to grow your business.
Tactic – connect with more Leeds accountants on LinkedIn to grow our network, be seen and engage with our target market.
Marketing Actions are the steps you need to take to make sure those tactics work.
Action –update our LinkedIn profiles so we appeal to our target market of accountants.
Understanding what marketing tactics and actions work
Knowing what tactics and actions you need should start with your current clients. How did they find you? Based on what’s worked well in the past you can gain a lot of valuable insight into what works for your business. Start by looking back at the customers you have now and where they came from. In my ‘Are you ready for marketing?’ blog I talk about knowing who and where your customers are. If you know who the good ones are and how they found you, then this is a great platform to build on.
Finding your good marketing tactics
What I mean by this is taking a look at the tactics which have worked previously and how to improve actions around them. In my extensive experience the majority of new business for SMEs comes from the following channels. Here’s a few tips to improve and gain more business from them:
If networking works, keep networking to bring in new business.
Make a list of the groups you are in now and their members. Are they the customers you really want? Will they introduce you to the customers who will make you money?
Make sure they know what you want. Review your 60 seconds and be clear on how you can help people and the added value you give.
Make it clear what you want people to do for example: “I would like you all to think about one accountant you know and mention my Marketing Takeaway.”
If referrals bring in the customers, incentivise or give back for more.
Introduce a referral scheme, for example a financial kick back or gift incentive to encourage more referrals. Create a list of referral items, a value and review, i.e. the last Friday of the month so it’s in your diary to thank for the business you’ve received in that month.
Create a TOP 10 key referrer list and reward when they don’t expect it, flowers, seasonal gestures or even a shout out on LinkedIn with a recommendation.
Think about your network, and how you can give back to those key referrers based on what business they are looking for.
If customers recommend you, make sure you wow them so they talk about you more.
Write down all the special things you do for clients and introduce those tactics into every day customer service so everyone gets special treatment. And everyone one talks about you!
Request a testimonial or create one with them (see our ‘Don’t let this one get away! To doo list) then post on your website and social media so your target market will see it.
Always thank people for the good things they’ve said about you, your team or your products and reward those internally – even passing on comments can make someone’s day and they’ll be sure to wow again!
Focus on quality of marketing tactics and actions, not quantity
The main thing here is not to do all but do small things really well. If you have an idea of where your existing business comes from, doing more of the same, more frequently or by improving these techniques, will make a difference. These good marketing tactics don’t have to be vast and they could even be your sole source of marketing. Here’s a case in point:
A builder I know has a two year waiting list. His marketing tactics are based on doing a brilliant job within the budget and time agreed, leaving a board outside the house with contact details and being super friendly to the neighbours for easy recommendations to family and friends.
He does not have a website, use social media or do email marketing. He’s just great at what he does, people know how to find him when they need him and there is strong evidence he will deliver for them to.
Your Doo 1 Thing
Pick up a pen and paper. Write down your favourite customers, 5, 10, 50 go for it! Then beside each one note where they came from and how it worked out so you know your good marketing tactics’ to improve or do more of.
Finally, don’t rush it and don’t panic
By trusting your good marketing tactics, you are much more in control when it comes to growing your business. You don’t need to think about introducing more ways to find new customers or panic as sales happen much more naturally. Keep doing what you are good at, deliver what you promise and your customers will come.
It may be you need specialist marketing support to help you work out what your good marketing tactics are. Our Marketing Takeaways are designed to help business owners like you get clarity in their marketing and nip marketing bewilderment in the bud for good.